Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 3


The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – Yeah… Finally managed to get my hands one of these! A little summary of what I’ve experienced thus far is that it’s smarter, longer, faster and basically something out of this world!


A quick glance over the Galaxy Note 3 and it does exactly what we thought it would do: takes over the mantle as the world’s most powerful smartphone, although the advantage is a lot smaller this time.

First up we have to mention the display – it’s grown again since the 5.5-inch offering on the Note 2 to a palm busting 5.7 inches complete with a full HD, 1080 x 1920 Super AMOLED display.

The Galaxy Note 3 has retained the metal frame from the Galaxy S4 running around the edge of the device providing a rigid body and a more premium look, but it’s on the rear where Samsung has tried something new.

Lay the Note 3 face down, take a quick glance at the handset and it appears the rear is made of leather. It isn’t, of course, it’s that famous plastic Samsung is so fond off. The finish is textured to give it the appearance of leather and this actually provides some much needed grip. Those stitches running round the outside of the back cover? Well that’s just a pattern formed in the plastic. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea and it looks a bit tacky upon closer inspection, but the Note 3 does feel like a solid, well built device.

On the plus side the plastic cover can be removed giving you access to the Note 3’s sizable 3,200mAh battery as well as the microSD slot which is cleverly stacked on top of the microSIM port – allowing Samsung to save some space.

Somehow Samsung has managed to make the Galaxy Note 3 slightly smaller than its predecessor, measuring 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm. That’s still quite a sizable device, but considering it’s got a slightly larger display, beefier processor and more powerful 13MP camera it’s an impressive feat. Those of you blessed with smaller palms will still struggle to hold the Note 3 in one hand, especially when typing is involved, but thanks to its reduced weight (it’s 168g, down from 183g on the Note 2) it’s certainly the most manageable Note smartphone to date.

Under the hood this unit sat an insanely powerful 2.3GHz quad-core processor, although a select few markets will be treated to an octa-core option which houses two quad-core chips. You also get 3GB of RAM and the option of 32GB or 64GB of internal storage in the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, while the latest version of Google’s operating system – Android 4.3 Jelly Bean – runs merrily on top of all this.

They are incredibly responsive though, and you don’t have to worry about getting your finger right on the logo, the area of recognition is wide enough to pick up even the most misguided stabs.

Those will petite palms or a penchant for skinny jeans will struggle with the size of the Note 3, but if you’ve been taken with its predecessors then you’ll be happy to hear this is the best looking Note smartphone to date.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a great phone and if you were to own one you wouldn’t be disappointed. It provides a great onscreen experience – as long as your hands are big enough to reach across it – and its stuffed full of tech to almost warrant its lofty price tag. Its size will be a real stumbling point for many and we’d recommend going into a store and just holding the Note 3 for a while to see if it’s something you can cope with. There will be some people out there who will love the inclusion of the S Pen, and it totally makes sense in the Asian markets where text input is greatly enhanced with a stylus, but in the Western world its uses are far more limited. This is the best Galaxy Note smartphone to date and if you’re a fan of the range then you’ll love the Note 3.

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